HOUSTON – Area law enforcement stressed the dangers of drunk driving Sunday, as folks in southeast Texas celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.
"We tend to be more vigilant, look for the impaired drivers," said Sgt. Chris Green, Harris County Precinct One Constable's Office.
Green patrolled Houston's Northside Sunday, searching for drunk drivers.
"This time of the day, I'm looking for erratic driving. A lot of time I'm looking for turning movements," Green said, adding the likelihood of a drunk driver being behind the wheel increases after the sun sets.
Sgt. Green has worked in law enforcement for 21 years. Sadly, despite increased awareness, Green said he has not seen a decrease in the number of drunk drivers on area roadways.
"We're seeing more poly-drug use, which is people under the influence of alcohol and other illegal narcotics or prescription drugs," he said.
Other organizations used the weekend before July 4 to spread the word about the importance of having a designated driver.
Mark Rodriguez, founder of Krysta's Karing Angels, knows the pain drunk driving can inflict far too well. A drunk driver killed his daughter, Krysta, seven years ago in the Cypress area.
"It's devastating," Rodriguez said, holding back tears.
Since Krista's death, Rodriguez has started Krysta's Karing Angels, an organization that works to decrease drunk driving, by sharing personal stories and educating others.
"There's absolutely zero reason anybody should get behind the wheel when they're impaired," Rodriguez said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has stepped up traffic enforcement leading up to July 4.
As many Texans will be celebrating independence, a lot of them will be using the roadways, traveling to and from Houston to do so. Law enforcement wants to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.
This means troopers will be putting an extra emphasis on nabbing drunk drivers, people speeding and folks who violate the seatbelt law.
"Alcohol consumption is always a concern this time of year, and motorists should take this into consideration when driving over the holiday weekend," said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
Make sure to plan ahead: have a designated driver, take Uber, Lyft or a Taxi. Also take a peek at the weather forecast before driving and remember to buckle up.